To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October 2018 to Question 178508 on Drugs: Prices, for what reasons (a) the consultation on a new system of commissioning for special medicinal products has not begun and (b) unwarranted prices of unbranded generic medicines continues 18 months after the passing of the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act 2017.
The Department has been engaging informally with pharmacy and industry representative bodies about potential changes to the procurement and reimbursement arrangements for specials not listed with a price in the Drug Tariff. Since the Health Service Products (Provision and Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2018 were introduced in July 2018, the Department obtains data from more suppliers and on more specials. This enables the Department to include more specials with a price in the Drug Tariff and reduce the number of specials that the new arrangements would need to cover. Further consideration is being given, following the informal engagement, to potential solutions to address the spend on specials not listed with a price in the Drug Tariff before the formal consultation is started.
Since the Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs) Act 2017 entered into force, the Department has continued its work with the Competition and Markets Authority on the cases they are taking forward and has published the Health Service Products (Provision and Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2018 that support its price setting powers. The Department has engaged informally with industry representative bodies about its proposals and is preparing a formal consultation.